Carrie Weekes is the West Midlands regional development manager for the Development Trusts Association. She’s based at a community run building – the Post Office Building in Moseley – and has many years experience of understanding and supporting community asset transfer
As she says in the interview below, the DTA had a lot of expertise on how to generate income from assets and has been “pummelling at the governments door” long before the Quirk review was published.
Her work has been part of the Advancing Assets for Communities programme, across the West Midlands Carrie has played the role of critical friend:
Advice from Carrie:
- Make sure you have the right people around the table in the first place. Stop playing roles be people. Sit down and talk to each other.
- Once you get the relationship right then you can plough through the difficult stuff together.
- The building is a means to an end. Asset transfer can start you off on the wrong foot. Instead you need to be thinking about change in communities and how you harness innovation and drive. Assets are only one way you can do that.
- For the council you should think of this an investment in community groups – which means you don’t have to constantly bale them out
- Don’t put your head in the sand about the reality of running a building, who will tidy up and lock up. It’s a business.
- Viability not liability – ask yourself is it an asset at all! get someone to work out how much that building will cost to run before you do anything else.
Carrie and Ali Bell of Community Matters also gave this presentation at the conference on March 23rd 2010:
Any thoughts, please feel free to use the comments section.